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In and out of Africa

Madge has big plans for Malawi where out of a population of 12 million, one million are orphans.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2007 00:07 IST

The material girl seems to have turned the maternal girl with her adoption of a little Malawian boy. In keeping with the ‘We are the world’ sentiment, she now plans to adopt her new son’s country also. The tiny nation in sub-Saharan Africa is one of the least developed in the world. In 2006, Malawi was brought under the umbrella of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries programme. The economy keeps afloat on foreign aid to which we may now add Madonna’s millions. Now cynics may say that posing with little David amid the backdrop of abject poverty is yet another attempt by the iconic superstar to reinvent herself. An art at which she is no slouch, we might add. Witness her transformation from heretic, bustier clad wild cat to saviour of the suffering in Africa.

Madge has big plans for Malawi where out of a population of 12 million, one million are orphans. David’s adoption was fraught with controversy but feisty Madonna refuses to be put off. Whether Malawi likes it or not, she is determined to pull it up by its bootstraps. She will offload at least $ 3 million to fund Aids orphans. Is this the Evita complex, a carry-over from the musical she starred in on the life of Eva Peron, Argentina’s first lady and Madonna of its poor?

Maybe, but who’s complaining? God knows, very few care two hoots about Africa. Groucho Marx’s famous line, “Africa is God’s country and God can keep it,” seems the prevalent mood. In fact, there seems a sort of competition as to which celebrity can help Africa more. The more the merrier. Do the locals welcome all this attention? Well, the stones pelted at Madonna’s car doesn’t seem to suggest that the receivers are as enthusiastic as the giver.

First Published: Apr 23, 2007 00:06 IST